The Association of Young Irish Archaeologists, or AYIA, was founded in Belfast in 1968 by a group of students from Queens University Belfast.
Membership is automatic for individuals who are members of the AYIA’s affiliated societies in the various Universities, Institutes and Colleges around the country, however, recent graduate students and those relatively new to the profession (yes, commercial archaeology too!) are also eagerly encouraged to participate.
The purpose of the association is to further communication and co-operation between interested parties, to provide a forum for new ideas, and to foster interest and enthusiasm for archaeology at a ‘junior’ level in Ireland. As is clear from this, the use of the word ‘young’ is somewhat misleading as AYIA members may include individuals of any age who are undergraduates, postgraduates or relatively new to the profession and related disciplines.
The most important event that the AYIA runs is its annual conference which is held by one of the participating Universities within the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
The level of activity of the AYIA has fluctuated somewhat since its inception, demonstrated by the lack of an annual conference some years. The conference, however, is the association’s main event and is hosted in rotation by the various student societies.
Read an online article about the association here.